Teaching Diverse Students: Bilingual & English as a Second Language (ESL)

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    • 00:05

      [Teaching Diverse Students: Bilingual English as a SecondLanguage (ESL)] [Reem Hassaen, English as a New LanguagePreschool Lead Teacher, Robinson Community Learning Center]

    • 00:11

      REEM HASSAEN: My name is Reem Hassaen.I'm the English as a new languagelead teacher in the English as a new language preschool.In the classroom, we serve three-year-oldsto five-year-olds.At this point in time, we have childrenfrom Japan, China, Sudan, Iraq, Liberia, and Mexico.Most of the people in the classesare refugees who have fled their country because of fear

    • 00:32

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: for their life and are not able to go back.Hi Minaq.We have sight keys that we use to represent each child.And it's kind of a universal way for usto know that the bear is Haroto and the backpack is Faja.And so, for children who don't all speak the same language,instead of calling each child by name, this way

    • 00:53

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: they can recognize that if I want to sit next to this personI look for this sight key.This is where I put the sight keys down on the matwhere I want them to be sitting.And so when I say, it's time to cometo the mat for circle time, they'llcome find their sight key and sit there.OK, can we clean up the books?

    • 01:14

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: So that we can come over-- rememberthe books go inside of the bin.The books [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Books go in the bin.We'll put them away later.Come sit on the mat.For our morning song, should we clap our hands or tap our toes?

    • 01:35

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: One, two, three.(SINGING) Good morning, good morning.I hope you are feeling fine.Good morning, to all the boys.Hello.Let's say hello, Taja.Hi, Taja.Hi, Mustafa.Hi, Mustafa.In the classroom.

    • 01:56

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: I always find myself trying to be the child's friend, asopposed to being a person that the child'sgoing to see as someone who they need to be afraid of.I always try to let the child understand that I understandhow they're feeling and I need them to understand how I feel.What's on this book?

    • 02:16

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: A gorilla.What's he doing?What's he doing?Is he doing this?This book is called From Head To Toe.He's pointing to his head and his toe at the same time.Can you do that?Haroto can.What colors are there?

    • 02:38

      SPEAKER 1: Orange.

    • 02:39

      REEM HASSAEN: Orange.

    • 02:40

      SPEAKER 1: Black.

    • 02:41

      REEM HASSAEN: Black.

    • 02:41

      SPEAKER 1: Blue.

    • 02:42

      REEM HASSAEN: Blue

    • 02:43

      SPEAKER 2: Yellow.

    • 02:44

      REEM HASSAEN: Yellow

    • 02:45

      SPEAKER 3: Purple.

    • 02:46

      REEM HASSAEN: How about this one?

    • 02:49

      SPEAKER 3: Green

    • 02:50

      REEM HASSAEN: OK.Back on your sight keys.I am a monkey.And I wave my arms.Can you wave your arms?If you can do it, say I can do it.

    • 03:05

      SPEAKER 1: I can do it.

    • 03:07

      REEM HASSAEN: Miss Juliana, can you hold up each sight keyso each kid will come get ready to wash hands?

    • 03:13

      JULIANA: I have a backpack.Backpack.

    • 03:20

      REEM HASSAEN: Wait, Mustafa.Pull up your sleeves.OK, ready to sing our song?Ready?(SINGING) Tops and bottoms, tops and bottoms,in between, in between.Taja?(WHISPERING) Tiptoe.Tiptoe.

    • 03:41

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: Tiptoe.Tiptoe.Tiptoe.All the songs that we use in the classroom are very concrete.We use parts of the body and we use our hands and armsto be very visual with what we're saying.Songs that we use in the classroomtend to be extremely catchy.And so, for the children who can't speak Englishor have less English than otherchildren, they're still able to participate

    • 04:02

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: in the small activity we've created.Taja can you come help me?Can you go give two people a fruit cup?Would you like a graham cracker, Haroto?

    • 04:17

      SPEAKER 1: Yes, please.

    • 04:18

      REEM HASSAEN: Thank you for saying please.I speak four languages.So, at home, I learned Arabic before I entered school.It's very important to understand the waythat the children are thinking and the waythat they're processing what they want to say.Would you like a cracker, Mustafa?Yes?OK.Being with children who speak a different language,

    • 04:40

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: as an English language learner, I reallyunderstand that children are translating what'shappening as it's happening.And so, if you were to say, would you like another cracker?They're taking it and they're turning it into Arabic.So would you like another cracker.[SPEAKING ARABIC]And then, they are answering the question in their head.

    • 05:01

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: [SPEAKING ARABIC]And then they're translating it into English.I would like a cracker.And then they're trying to get those words out in the mannerthat you're going to understand them in.And so, just giving the children time to actuallyprocess what they're saying.And then giving them time to say what they're trying to say.In situations where I need to use their home language quickly

    • 05:25

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: to be able to make sure that they understand what'sgoing on, it's very useful to be able to switch.[SPEAKING ARABIC] OK, Taja.OK, Taja.Where would you like to play today?What's over there?

    • 05:47


    • 05:48

      REEM HASSAEN: Blocks?The toy area?We used to the HighScope curriculum in the classroom.And that means that we do things using a plan,do, review process.And so, the children plan what they want to doand then they do it during work time with adult scaffolding,which means that the adults are alongside them, helping them

    • 06:11

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: fulfill the plan that they've madeand then reviewing or recalling whatit is they did during work time and if it alignedwith their plan or not.Should we have planning time with Tibianafter she's done with her snack?

    • 06:23

      SPEAKER 4: Play wth you.

    • 06:24

      REEM HASSAEN: You want to play with me?I'll come play with you.After Tibian is done with snack, we can all plan together.OK?If they start planning now what theywant to do and they start programmingtheir brain to do that, then later on when they need to makea decision on, for writing a paperor for making any other decisions, they want to think,

    • 06:48

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: OK, what could I do?What could be changed?And so this kind of a baby step to that point.Is my plan for my Halloween H- A- L- L- O- W- E- E- N costume.

    • 07:12

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: I think I'm going to be a witch.

    • 07:14

      SPEAKER 5: I think I'm going to be Sofia.

    • 07:16

      REEM HASSAEN: Would you like to come sit with usand make your plan as well?With English speakers, it's very easy for usto sit down with a three to four or five-year-old and say,we're going to make a plan.But for us, we're mostly starting out with, wherewould you like to play?Who have you played with?And then later once they understand, oh hey,I'm planning for this hour.

    • 07:38

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: And this hour I get to do whatever I want.Then it becomes a little bit more complex.And we're able to say, OK, what areyou going to do with the blocks in the block area?I'm going to build a castle.Or I'm going to build a fort or I'mgoing to build a bed for my baby.What color should my dress be?

    • 07:56

      SPEAKER 1: Orange.

    • 07:58

      REEM HASSAEN: Orange.You know what, this is not just my planbecause you're helping me plan.So this is my and Haroto's plan.What time is it?It's clean up time.(SINGING) Clean up, clean up.

    • 08:18

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: Everybody everywhere.Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.

    • 08:26

      SPEAKER 6: Everybody do your share.

    • 08:30

      SPEAKER 7: Everybody clean up.Clean up.Everybody clean up.

    • 08:38

      REEM HASSAEN: Teaching English to any childmeans that you have to measure where the child is and thenkind of see what it is that's special about that childthat you can use for speaking with them all of the time.Baha is from Iraq.And he and his family are very new to America.They've only been here for a few months.

    • 08:59

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: And he has started with us in the preschooland when he first started, he had absolutely no English.Ready?So we're going to start over here.Baha, where is the baby?There is the baby.Where's the circle?

    • 09:24

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: Who is running?Who's eating?When we first tested him a month ago,when he first started school with us,the only language she spoke at homewas Arabic with his family.He only was able to get one of the words, which was baby.

    • 09:45

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: And now a month later, he was able to get eight words.And so even within a month span, wewere seeing him improve in his English.It's very satisfying to see that we can impact the children somuch so in such little time.I would say that it's very important for the childrento feel comforted and help them on their journey

    • 10:08

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: to feeling independent and not so dependent on the adultsto help them create this atmosphere for them.But to be able to see that, I can do this.I can learn this language.So I have mine and look at what it is.It's a blindfold.The goal in the preschool is to immerse the children in as muchof the English language as possible

    • 10:29

      REEM HASSAEN [continued]: so that they can flourish as quickly as they can with us.So many of the families that we serveare refugees and are not able to go home.And so we want the children and familiesto know that we are here and support them and feel welcomedand feel like a family.

Teaching Diverse Students: Bilingual & English as a Second Language (ESL)

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AmeriCorps worker Reem Hassaen leads a preschool for refugees and English language learners.

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Teaching Diverse Students: Bilingual & English as a Second Language (ESL)

AmeriCorps worker Reem Hassaen leads a preschool for refugees and English language learners.

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